As President Barack Obama is nearing the end of his second term, Black Americans are still crying out for justice. Although, it is difficult to imagine that as a country who has come “so far” from a long history of cruelty to colored people, we are still afraid to admit that we have not yet arrived.
If we review our history, slavery was only abolished 150 years ago, segregation lawfully ended 50 years ago and other systemic acts of discrimination are still occurring today (i.e. School to Prison Pipeline). It is quite understandable, that we want to move on from our dark history but we can’t bandage up a broken bone.
How can we heal from an illness we refuse to acknowledge? The greater question is, how do we fix it?
Revolutionaries, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, have responded with a movement called black Lives Matter, which has called for America to truly evaluate its hypocrisy in the treatment of black people. To which many White Americans have cried out, arguing all lives matter, and the notion of the movement is discrimination in itself.
The counter argument to all lives matter is clear. If all lives mattered, then black lives should matter too. The idea is to attack the notion that we have somehow arrived to Dr. King’s Promised Land, when we have not. In fact, we are still far from it.
If all lives mattered, no unarmed American should be shot down in the street. If all lives mattered, Companies should not be able to build jails based on the literacy rates of our children, rather than investing in their futures. If all lives mattered, State governments should not allow a city with a mostly black population to drink water that has been poisoned with lead.
It is not difficult to come to the conclusion that the idea of all, does not include black people, which in reality is consistent with our own constitution.
Fortunately, the black dollar is still green.
In the 2013 Nielsen study, it is reported that black consumers have a $1 trillion buying power, which is projected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2017. The total advertising expenditures reached $1.9 billion in African American media in 2010.
“The number of African American households earning $75,000 or more has grown by 63.9% in the last decade, a rate greater than that of the overall population. This continued growth in affluence, social influence and household income will continue to impact the community’s economic power, especially with women.”
So, if we can’t move America with our blood, can we move it with our dollars?